Kung Fu Panda 3 brought the heat to the box office for the last weekend in January, dethroning awards’ darling The Revenant for the top spot. The newest DreamWorks flick nabbed $41 million for its opening weekend, The Revenant second in its sixth week at $12.4 million. The only other film premiering in the top five this weekend was the coast guard action drama, The Finest Hours, pulling $10.3 million. The newest Kung Fu Panda film performed a bit lower than the opening weekends of the first and second installments of the franchise but still came out relatively well.
Although Kung Fu Panda 3 fell slightly short of analyst expectations and previous installments, it performed very well nonetheless. This may have been due to weak competition in theaters, the holiday surge of awards movies growing stale, a paltry offering of new weekend releases, and a perceived drought of animated films (giving exception to Norm of the North, coined a failure on many different levels). Regardless of the lack of formal competition, Kung Fu Panda 3 stands strong on its own in terms of both critical and audience reviews. The film garnered an 80% critical approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, along with an ‘A’ rating in CinemaScore audience exit polls. Both of these ratings are very favorable and telling of the impact that the quality of the film may have had on its success.
Kung Fu Panda 3’s weekend box office performance was a much needed victory for DreamWorks. The studio has been struggling in recent years with several underperforming films and has been in much need of a boost from an existing franchise. What’s more, the solid critical and audience responses are proof that this extension of the Kung Fu Panda franchise was not simply a money grab from a struggling studio. With the third installment Kung Fu Panda, DreamWorks has successfully made its mark at the box office while retaining creative integrity.
Edited by: Morgan Stradling